I tried to look up some kind of history or something interesting to do with these easy little biscuit type things, but i couldn’t find anything. Also i asked some dutch colleuges and they seemed to be really confused about what i was talking about. So, either this is mainly a westerly thing or something that has gone quite out of fashion and no one seems to make them anymore. I for one, think they should be revived, these little crystalised soft biscuits can be quite addictive….especially the day after they have been made. So instead you’ll either have to make up your own history or just follow through to the recipe.
Almond paste can be found pretty much everywhere in some european countries but if you can’t find it i’ve also put the recipe for that down too. Almond paste can be added into alot of different things and the dutch go crazy for the yellowy almond mash and personally i think it’s much tastier when you make it yourself, although it does take a couple of weeks to mature in the fridge, but as they say, the best things in life are worth waiting for (apparently)
Recipe makes about 15 pieces.
Ingredients for the Mopjes
lemon zest of half or one whole lemon (depending on how zesty you like things)
300g of almond paste
Plain Flour for dusting
100g granulated sugar
Start by separating the egg into seperate bowls. Add the almond paste, lemon zest and egg yolk into a mixing bowl.
Use an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment to combine the ingredients into the paste or alternatively by hand (which can be quite tiring)
Divide the paste mixture into 2 equal and then make 2 separate rolls with a length of about 20 cm long.
Then, dust the rolls lightly with flour to prevent them from sticking to the counter top.
Use a brush to cover the rolls with the egg white and roll it through the granulated sugar.
Let the rolls sit in the fridge for around 40 minutes.
Then at this stage, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
Get the baking sheet ready by lining it with some parchment paper.
Take the rolls out of the fridge and begin to slice them into small pieces. The slices should be cut into pieces around 1.5 cm.
When you’ve finished this, place the mopjes biscuits 2-3 cm apart on the baking sheet.
Bake the mopjes between the middle and top part of the oven for about 8 minutes or until nicely browned all around but keep an eye on them close to the end….they have a tendency to go from perfect to cremated quite quickly.
Like i mentioned before, these little things are great the next day, after they’ve had the chance to flavour up some more.
Almond Paste Ingredients
175g ground almonds
zest of half a lemon
1tsp lemon juice
2tbsps of water
1tsp of almond essence (optional)
Its ideal to make almond paste a few weeks before needing it or at least a few days before.
Mix the almonds with the sugar, egg, lemon zest, lemon juice and water. At this stage you can add the almond essence to speed up the process or if you want a really strong almond flavour. I think it works really well.
Stir until all is combined and appears like a paste or dough.
Store in a jar in the fridge to contain all the flavours.
Wet your hands before kneading paste before use and if necessary add some extra water of lemon juice.